Most people become uncomfortable when they hear psilocybin, mushrooms, and microdosing. This is totally understandable, especially for someone who has never taken alcohol or been a recreational drug user. For such an individual, the idea of using a hallucinogenic substance might seem scary and not liberating.
For many years now, there has been an increase in research on these topics, most of which are interesting. In addition, there are many therapies that help many people with different health conditions. It’s time for everyone to start paying attention to these revolutionary substances.
Continue reading to learn more about psilocybin, mushrooms, and microdosing.
What are Hallucinogenic Mushrooms?
As the name suggests, they are mushrooms with hallucinogenic effects. They are one of the largest groups of mind-altering substances known as psychedelics. Basically, psychedelics comprise a range of recreational drugs like peyote, and LSD, all of which can change the way the brain works. This includes mood and perception.
Psychedelics are not like other drug substances that cause dependence or addiction. This is because they are short-term, episodic, or experimental without reinforcing properties. They also don’t produce drug-seeking behaviors like tobacco, alcohol, or other substances.
In general, psychedelics target serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain. It is a full or partial agonist of 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A receptors, and this is why they are called serotonergic hallucinogens. Psychedelic mushrooms grow in different places, particularly in South America, some parts of the United States, and Mexico.
What is Psilocybin?
People usually use psilocybin and hallucinogenic mushrooms together in many cases. This is because the main active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms is psilocybin. Just like the THC in cannabis that causes people to get high, psilocybin is the substance that causes mind-altering effects in magic mushrooms. Psilocybin has a similar structure to LSD, which is also a psychedelic substance.
For emphasis, hallucinogenic mushrooms are a substance found in nature, while psilocybin is the chemical in them.
What is Microdosing?
You might have already heard a few things about microdosing, especially when reading about psychedelics. Microdosing involves taking small amounts of drugs to enjoy the benefits of the substance without experiencing its negative effects. People who microdose psilocybin highlight that art helps them to be more focused, calm, productive, and creative.
Microdosing psilocybin is not legal in the U.S. and some parts of the world, but that is starting to change rapidly. Today, there is much research work that is being done to fully explore the benefits of microdosing. The results from this research are promising, and there are different legislations and bills that seek to legalize microdosing psilocybin globally.
What Are the Benefits of Psilocybin, Hallucinogenic Mushrooms, and Microdosing?
There are so many contexts in which psilocybin is being studied today. Most of these lies within well-being and mental health. Here are some of the benefits of psilocybin, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and microdosing that you should know:
This type of headache mostly targets the eye and sides of the head, and it’s a painful experience. It’s not usually easy to treat, as there aren’t too many treatment options available. A study shows psilocybin is an effective treatment option for treating and preventing migraines and cluster headaches.
Quality of Life for Cancer Patients
There are many interesting studies on psilocybin, with some done by NYU and Johns Hopkins. Some of these studies are on patients with cancer-related psychosocial distress. The studies reported amazing results, with about 64% of volunteers experiencing improved life or well-being satisfaction.
A small study using volunteers with obsessive-compulsive disorder. These volunteers take the drug and sit for 8 hours while listening to carefully selected music. The result of the study shows improvements in OCD-related depression. Another interesting thing is that this improvement lasted for many months, and for some volunteers, their OCD symptoms resolved completely.
Psilocybin has also been studied as an option for people with different types of addiction. This includes addiction to cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, and other similar substances. A study highlights that psilocybin can reduce cravings and increase abstinence in addicted patients. Interestingly, the study did not highlight any associated psilocybin treatment-related adverse effects.
Quality of Life and Life Satisfaction
There are also studies that show that psilocybin can improve quality of life. One study highlights that 205 doses of psilocybin offered lasting positive changes for over a year. These changes include increased appreciation for beauty, sensitivity, tolerance for other values and viewpoints, and imagination. Another study shows that psilocybin makes people feel less depressed and anxious.
With all the benefits above, the big question is whether psilocybin is safe. A 2011 study ranks psilocybin as one of the safest recreational drugs after cannabis. However, it’s important to note that there are risks associated with psilocybin. This includes visual perception changes, paranoia, and anxiety.
When compared with other substances, including legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol, hallucinogenic mushrooms are surprisingly safer. Therefore, even though the substance can take you out of your comfort zone initially, once you lean into it, you can appreciate the benefit it offers.
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